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philip

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Oct 14 09 10:46 PM

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This page will be for anyone that wants to say a few words (10 - 10,000) on who they are.
If you don't want to say anything, that's fine.
For those that do.
Things might include, First Names, Which Branch you were in, What years you were there, and anything that you think might break the ice, and get our new site back to how it was on the old MSM pages.


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philip

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#1 [url]

Oct 14 09 10:57 PM

Philip.
Often known as 'Philip:The Strange Child', after the thoughts that adults had about me from my NCH file.
I entered Highfield (Harpenden) at the age of 8, in 1965 under the control of Sister Pearl, later to be controlled by Miss Foale (Sister Rosemary). I gained my freedom at the age of 11, when it was decided that it might be best if I left the Home as soon as possible (Mr Roycroft's view).
I went to Manland school, first at the old Vaughan Road site, which had been reopened for a short time to take the small number of excess pupils fron the main site, in time we joined the main Junior/primary school and experienced the delights of Mr Kingham & Mr Fuller.
Roycroft was the gov when I was at Highfied, and I arranged it that our paths crossed as little as possible, it seemed he did not understand my form of play.
I had my file from the NCH some years ago, it is to be found at
www.theirhistory.co.uk/
  together with much more info on the NCH, photos of other NCH'ers and plenty of reference matters on the various Branches of the NCH.
Extra photos of the NCH etc can also be found at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22326055@N06/

Philip
Philip Howard.

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#2 [url]

Oct 15 09 8:49 AM

Hello. My name is Caroline and I lived at Highfield Oval from 1971- 1978. I spent a few intial weeks in Morcambe Lodge then went to live in Flat 8 with Barbara and Pip. I went to Manland Secondary school and was one of the children in the choir and the singing group constructed by the Burns...
Many roads travelled since then and now happy to say I like who I am and the way I turned out!

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dave

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#3 [url]

Oct 21 09 8:12 PM

Thought it was about time I jotted down a few words about myself, well if I don't  nobody else willwink

My full name is David Mark Price I was placed into the care of NCH Harpenden on the 9th Sept 1965 at the age of 8 yrs. and was released into the wild on 25th May 1973 age 15 yrs just before my 16th Birthday in June.
I was placed in flat 8 along with my sister Sally. ( for reasons I'm not sure of she was known as Mandy for some time. Her first names being Sally Amanda had something to do with it possibly). My other Sister, Vere and brother, Malcolm were placed in flat 1 as Philip knows too well.grin

The Sister in charge of flat 8 at the time was Sister Margeret Corbin and from what I remember she treated us well enough. She had an assistant Muriel Price (no relation) who became a sister and took over flat 8 when sister Margeret retired. Sister muriel again was pretty good and I don't recall any real problems. Being younger she used to be a bit more active and would take us swimming at the local lido and other such activities. Sister Muriel did have problems with her eyes and had to wear really thick lensed glasses. She started to learn braille so she could read books with comfort. I remember learning a bit of braille myself.

Some time in 1971 Sister Muriel had some trouble, resulting in her being ousted by Burns. If memory serves me right  a child went home on leave to their parent who found he had head lice! I was really sorry she went as I did really like her. At this time Sally and I were moved into flat 1 so we could be reunited with our brother and sister. This was the first time we had been together for a long while even before we came to Harpenden we lived apart being placed in different homes and fostered. We really did not have a happy life before settling at Harpenden. I am sure this is why Harpenden has such a special place in my heart.

During the time Sally and I were in flat 8 we were not exactly encouraged to meet and mix with Vere and Malcolm I can honestly say until I moved into flat 1 I did not have any real feelings towards them as siblings. But once together we did bond and I recall becoming fairly protective of them although, being older, I was more often playing out with friends of my age group. Sister Rosemary was in charge by then and I have to say it was a bit of a shock to my system. On the other hand there were a couple of nice young assistants helping who I don't mind admitting I fancied. Note the teanage hormones were kicking indevil
God help me if sister Rosemary new what was going through my adolescent mind!

Well thats about it for now, my fingers need a rest.

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#4 [url]

Oct 24 09 1:15 PM

hello everybody!

I am Helga (nee Pucill).  I was in Holmwood, NCH Bristol from 1955 to 1963.  I was in the "Robinson Family".  I was around 18 months old when I went in and about 9 years old when I was adopted along with my (real) sister.  Not a happy adoption I have to say but hey I survived and here I am to tell the tale!   devil

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royl

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#5 [url]

Dec 4 09 12:46 AM

I am Roy Laver, I was sent to Harpenden in 1947 after being deemed out of control at home. I went into Sister Lottie Farmer's family in Clifton House.  Sister Lottie was obviously warned about the reasons for my being there but I always found her to be strict but fair. Clifton House at that time was shared by two families (before any were converted to flats) the other family was run by Sister May Bridger. There were 10/11 boys per family in ages aprx. 5-14, this meant that there was always someone within your age group but no girls to which at that time we would have said Hooray! At this time Ted Shutt was the governor and Mr Guy was number two. In my time Mr Guy retired and was replaced by Mr Niven who was subsequently replaced by Mr Rycroft. This was not long after one of Mr Rycroft's boys accidently blinded Mr Niven's daughter in one eye, but I think that the take over had already been arranged. It was strange how this accident affected every one. Whereas serious accidents happened almost daily to home kids Mr Niven's daughter (Angela ?) wasn't really one so it was very different. I spent my last 2 years with Mr and Mrs Turner in Ashcroft House which is where boys were sent when your hormones started jumping.

I went to the Church school in the village as the Highfield school (at the branch, later to be the Bernard Baron Hall) was due to close. It eventually closed down in 1949/50. After the Church school I was in the first contingent to go to Manland. Our reception there was cool to say the least and there was soon friction between NCH and Redbourne boys. There might well have been some for the girls as well but we boys didn't talk to them. The headmaster at Manland was Tinger Watts but after our first term Beaky Bloxham took over and within a term introduced school uniforms, ugh. With my great friend Douglas Poulton we made good progress at Manland and enjoyed it as much as one could enjoy school. I sang in the school choir organised by Ada Rumble who's brother Bert taught Geography and English. Mr Jones took Maths, Mr Noble took Technical Drawing, Mr Edwards - Science, Mr Auriol - Geography, Mr Watkins (of the glass eye) -English, Mrs Rocket - Art and Mr Davis - PE and sport. We also had pottery, woodwork, metalwork and gardening as weekly subjects. Looking back on it you realise what a good all round education it was. From Manland the NCH arranged for Doug and me to go on to do GCEs at Hatfield Technical College, this place is now Hertfordshire University. Doug and I attended before it was officially opened by Prince Philip.

I left Harpenden in July 1954 with my copy of the New Testament in my hand and went to live with relatives in Slough where I joined Berks. Constabulary as a civilian clerk (still too young to be a copper). As soon as I was old enough I signed up for 5 years in the RAF and went on from there for a full career with the MoD retiring in 1994.

I look back and realise that being sent to Harpenden was the best thing that could have happened to me and I look back on the time I spent in the branch with great fondness. 


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#6 [url]

Dec 8 09 10:16 PM

Hi Roy Bert Baldwin here just read your message on who we are i feel i should know you as i went too the nch in 1947 along with my brother Fred and sister Shirley your name sertainly rings a bell and the fact that you were mates with Doulgas Poulton, and Granvile was one of my mates i also know Brian but do not recall there sister,my brother and me were put into Clifton house and sister Lottie Farmer was in charge of one family and we were put with sister Phillis do not recall her sername but all i can say is that she was a tyrant, up untill the time we were placed in the home we did not know what the word discipline ment, we came from north London and i can still remember the sirons going off and all the bombed building we used as playgrounds,we should have gone too school but i can nether remember going, if we had not been put in care i just cannot imagine how we would have ended up, i can still remember that first morning we were awakened at what seemed like the crake of dawn, told to make our bed which had too be done hospital fashion and god help you if it wasn't, and then we were taken too the bathroom and were made too have a strip wash and on entering the dinning room for braekfast, there she was ready too make sure we had washed, by inspecting our hands ears and neck if it was not up too her satisfaction it was a quick clip round the ear and straight back too the bathroom and by the time you got to have your breakfast the egg was hard boild and the cup of tea was stone cold, and god help you if you said one word during meal times. Then if that was not enough we had too polish our shoes,  a further inspction, plus each kid had too do a job like washing up, clean the bathroom mop floors ex.and too top it all we had too walk 3/4 miles too the harpenden vilage school, and i remember that first morning i cried as i could not see my sister as she was placed in ferens and girls and boys where kept apart it must have been a week before i saw her and i was told if i did not stop crying she would give me somthing too cry about, by this time i must have thought that i had jumpped out of the of the frying pan and into the fire but hay it was 1947 we must have been there for about 18 months when my brother and myself were moved too OGB with sister Margory Young, sister Winifred Hankins was the sister of the other family i remember being much happier now, i  am not sure when it all changed with regard too the imaginary line across the oval which kept the boys and girls seperated i think it must have been when they started too divied the houses into flats because i was moved too ferens to be with my sister who had sister Ethel Smith, things had realy moved on by now the disciplines were still in place but the strong arm of the law  had long gone, i think that Ted Shutt changed all that i had a great respect for him, i liked Mr Guy but was not that keen on Mr Nivin.
             When i left the church Green School i went too Pickford Hill school in Batford it had just been built from there i went too Manland,Mr Bloxem was the head and you are right Roy he had one hell of a nose, then there were the Rumbals, Mr Davies Mr Jarvis Mr Humphrey ex
          When i left School i worked in the home bakery with Mr Miller[ very apt name] he was great,Granville also worked there, we had a great 15 months, Mr Miller was a very good teacher i learnt such a lot in those few months, when it came to start my Appenticeship i was well ahead of the game, i was sent too a small Bakery in Luton called Tudor Bakery's and a kid called Horice Barrett was woking there he also came from the home, he was 2 years older then me, you may recall the name he had an older sister named Jean she almost died from Diphtheria when there was a outbreake of the disease in early the early 50,s over the nect few years Horice and i became great mates, when he left im not sure where he went i knew he was going out with a girl in Harpenden, the next i herd he was in prison, over the years i tried too make contact but always seened too hit a brick wall, the last i herd he was in Wakefield open prison,by this time i was married with 3 kids,i had given up the Bakery manly dew too poor wages, i went too work at Vauxhall in Luton,where i stayed for 36 yeays and retiered about 9 years ago.
            When i look back at the years i spent in the home i am for ever greatfull, as i am sure my life would not have turned out the way it has, for apart from the first year or so, i have so meny great memories, the great holidays from camping down in devon or cannuing down the river Wye in the Wye vally too a holiday too the Lake District, every year was somewhere different, we were treated better than a lot of kids who lived with both parents, then there were the great Chistmases, we were treated too a trip too the circus, Bertrum Mills or Haringay,and who could have had a better playground than we had there was the Oval, Loards the boys and girls woods i remember the great times we had during the Summer Holidays in the woods, and who can forget the orchards where we could go scumping, ok you may have got caught and ended up getting 3 wacks with cane from Ted or Nivin across the hand or backside, did it realy do us any harm i think not,in fact it was more of aleaning curb not too get caught.
                  This page refers too [who we are] i think its more of a case of who we might have been,speaking from a personal point of view, i have no doubt that i would not be the person i am today if i had not been placed in the home,and i am sure my kids have reapped the benifits of my up bring in the home,when they were small i took them too visit the home and they were in ore as too the size of the place, they said how lucky i was too have been brought up in a place  like this, they were always asking me too tell them what was it like, and i would be forever telling them what we got up too, it was better than reading them a book,they could not believe some of the things we got up too and now i tell my Grand children.
               Roy in your message you were enquring about the Poulton's i am not sure what became of the others, but i was told by some one that Granville had passed away some years ago, i did not get too see him again when i left the home.
         Well i think i have gone on long enough for now, Roy if you wuold like too make contact this is my email address bertiebassettbaldwin@gmail.com would like too hear from you Bertie Baldwin

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#7 [url]

Apr 14 10 4:14 PM

hello everybody
                      happy memories of harpenden, I spent 5 happy years at highfield.
   I lived in wakefield house, bottom flat with sister maureen from 1950-1955.
My name was brian maguire, some of the people I remember, michael and jeanette
inngs, jeff owen, sonia harbour. I remember we used to listen to journey into space
and top of the form in the front room. Buying a pennys worth of broken biscuits down
in the villige, watchiig the trains down by cemetry, going over our coins we had put on
the line.  Climbing the big fir trees just inside the main entrance, and sliding down the
branches, walking on the railway line behind wakefield house,  standing in the front room
facing the corner if you were caught talking after lights out.  Going into our hospital with chcken
pox and getting caught walking on the roof.  No ice cream for me.
Im sure i used to go school  in the villiage next to the church,  we walked down a hill if i remember.
hope i have not rambled too much,  hope all is well with you all
          Bri45

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#8 [url]

Apr 14 10 4:54 PM

Hello Brian how nice to see you on this site, yes i do remember you ,i bet you will remember my family there was geoff and garry who lived with you down stairs and pat myself [judy] and my younger brother bobbie lived upstairs with sister pearl,i could relate to every thing you were saying,what memories we have,i hope you come to the reuion on july 10  my brother geoff will be playing the organ,take care ,judy owen 

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#9 [url]

Apr 14 10 5:03 PM

Hello Brian how nice to see you on this site, yes i do remember you ,i bet you will remember my family there was geoff and garry who lived with you down stairs and pat myself [judy] and my younger brother bobbie lived upstairs with sister pearl,i could relate to every thing you were saying,what memories we have,i hope you come to the reuion on july 10  my brother geoff will be playing the organ,take care ,judy owen 

-teala63

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#10 [url]

Apr 14 10 5:57 PM

Hi Jeff!
This looks like a wonderful program!  I was going to request "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring", so am very happy to see you have that on there already!  ;-)  Looking forward to hearing the Stainer pieces, too.  That's one composer I associate very specifically with my time at the Harpenden NCH.
Best to all,
Shelagh

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#11 [url]

Apr 14 10 7:04 PM

Hi Brian!
We overlapped by a year or two at the Harpenden branch, so we might have met!  I was in Sister Cora's at Ferens down, and left the NCH in 1952. I can relate to much of what you describe of our activities (legal or otherwise!), except for the railway lines.  Didn't go near 'em except to hang over the fence down by the cemetery, and wave at people sometimes.  Typical girl stuff I suppose! You boys were a lot more adventurous by the sounds of it!
Hope to meet you at the reunion.  I remember Sister Maureen's name, but can't put a face to it.
Best wishes,
Shelagh

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#16 [url]

Apr 21 10 6:34 PM

Hello all. Greetings from Canada.

I'm David Morris. My sister (Diana) and I were placed in NCH Harpenden in 1947 but we were there for less than two years. I do not remember any boys or staff by name.  At that time girls were housed on the other side of the Oval and as I recall I could visit my sister on Sundays - although sometimes I preferred to go tree-climbing in the woods.  I am now somewhat ashamed to say that we used to hunt for birds' nests and steal an egg which we would "blow" by making a small hole in each end and blowing out the contents, thus preventing the egg from going bad when we brought them back to the house. This proceedure worked fine if the egg was freshly laid but was most unpleasant when the egg  was some way along in the hatching process - something we could not always tell.

I have good memories of NCH.  These days, if I tell people that I was in an orphanage, they are horrified and feel sorry for me. This is probably because in Canada most orphanages and other institutional schools were run by religious orders, and some of them, especially those operated by the Roman Catholic church, were staffed by priests or Catholic "brothers" and it has come to light in recent years that there was a lot of physical and sexual abuse, especially of little boys.

No such pproblem at NCH. We may have been been punished for doing bad or forbidden things, but we usually deserved it and there were no hard feelings. The sisters were concerned and caring and I suspect that for many of us NCH was an improvement over what went before.

I had actually forgotten that I was at Harpenden but I remembered that song we used to sing:

                 There is a misery
                 Down Ambrose Lane
                 Where we get bread and scrape
                 Three times a day.
                 Eggs and bacon we don't see,
                 Dirty toenails in our tea.
                 That's why we're gradually
                 Fading away.

So I looked up "Ambrose Lane" on Google and found out what had happened to the Oval.

David Morris
Victoria, B.C.

D.M. Morris

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#17 [url]

Apr 21 10 8:49 PM

Hello Roy my name was judy owen  i also lived at Harpenden in the 50s i was there with my brothers Geoffrey Garry and Bobby myself and sister pat we lived in wakefield house ,judy pat and bobby lived upstairs with sister pearl and geoff and garry was down stairs with sister maureen, we have the harpendens reuion in july 10 it would be nice if you could be there ,my brother Geoff is going to play the organ the one in the chaple it should be a great day,hope to see you soon stay well Judy 

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dave

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#18 [url]

Apr 21 10 9:29 PM

Not into poetry my self Jeff, but have enjoyed reading yours. Up till now the only poems I knew could not be posted on this site.

She was only the fishermans daughter....................

The only other poem I started to read once was The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Seriously though it is very pleasent reading Jeff.

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royl

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#19 [url]

Apr 22 10 12:24 AM

Hello Judy,  I am not sure that the earlier message was intended for me but I will certainly be attending on the 10th. I have already got my musical request in with Jeff and see that he has programmed it and claims to be practising so it should be good. I am looking forward to meeting up with everyone who contributes to this site, including possibly some from other branches. Lets hope for the best of weather and have patience 'til the day.  Roy 

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#20 [url]

Apr 22 10 12:25 PM

Hi there Judy Bertie B here just read one of your messages and see that you will be at the Harpenden reunion along with your brothers and sister pat, which is great news, my sister Shirley is also hoping too get down from Blackpool, having read most of the messages it looks like we could be in for a bumpper day its got to be well over 50 years since i last saw you, let hope the weather is kind too us, i hope this messsage finds you all well, best regards Bertie B.

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